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  1. #61
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Grant View Post
    In any case, there's no excuse for a draft in a country that supposedly is built on the principle of personal liberty. A draft is slavery, pure and simple.
    The legality of the peacetime draft before WWII was justified by the Supreme Court based on "International Law." That is what set the precedent. Unfortunately, other than enforcement of treaties, International Law is usually set in states where all rights lie in the government, and the people only have what the government gives them. Or, more precisely, one or more Supreme Court Justices want to do an end run around the Constitution, find some law in some other country, and then use "International Law" to justify their decision.

    When one lives in a precedent-based legal system, bad law, even for good purposes, is still bad law.

    In any case, at least the way the U.S. armed forces are currently set up, a draft if virtually useless. For most positions, a sufficiently high level of training is required that, by the time a draftee is ready to assume a position, their service time is almost complete. Add to that the large number of teaching personnel that will be required, and you will see that current calls for a draft are just political posturing.
    Bart Lidofsky

  2. #62
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drusilla lives! View Post
    But this (IMO) "fantom menace" (or should I say, "fantom mess") of terrorism is not one of those instances... terrorism as we have experienced it in our recent history was a series of criminal acts, perpetrated by an organized gang, no more or less a threat than any other. And IMO, as I see it now, it should have been handled as such... but of course, hindsight is 50/50.
    New York City has about 40,000 police officers. If 500 well armed trained soldiers were placed in New York, with encrypted communications equipment, and given orders to kill as many police officers as they can, and no emergency was declared, the police wouldn't stand a chance.

    Criminal gangs are interested in profit, and remaining alive. Soldiers are interested in killing and destroying as much of the enemy as possible, and are willing to die for their cause. Which one is a better description of the radical jihadists?
    Bart Lidofsky

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    ... In any case, at least the way the U.S. armed forces are currently set up, a draft if virtually useless. For most positions, a sufficiently high level of training is required that, by the time a draftee is ready to assume a position, their service time is almost complete. Add to that the large number of teaching personnel that will be required, and you will see that current calls for a draft are just political posturing.
    Let's not jump to conclusions as to it being just posturing... by the time you're 40 (in our "modern" economy/world), most people have probably developed a lot of useful skills. One is suppose to be in one's "peak earning years" by then and my feeling is that (theoretically speaking) if you're drafted at that age, you should at least get a fair wage if nothing else.

    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    New York City has about 40,000 police officers. If 500 well armed trained soldiers were placed in New York, with encrypted communications equipment, and given orders to kill as many police officers as they can, and no emergency was declared, the police wouldn't stand a chance. ...
    The only 500, well armed and trained "soldiers," that should be in NY in the first place is members of the NYPD... and the point I was making was that IMO it is intelligence and police methods that are best employed at keeping it that way. I just should add that I now feel that that should have been the response to 9/11... as horrific as it was, it was still an intelligence/police matter in methodology as to response.

    But then, as having been a citizen of NY I guess I did get kinda numb to terror. Not to sound cold hearted at the loss, nor to consider it a lesser tragedy... which I felt personally (being one who worked in Manhattan, in the financial industry, and was there that day)... but, there are parts of the city where people lived with terror every day (and unfortunately I lived in one of them for several years). And namely from crime... let's not forget that there were years where at least 300 or more murders were committed in the city... although I've heard that things have improved substantially in recent years.

    ... Criminal gangs are interested in profit, and remaining alive. Soldiers are interested in killing and destroying as much of the enemy as possible, and are willing to die for their cause. Which one is a better description of the radical jihadists?
    I don't know, Osama and the other "capo's" of his gang seem pretty interested in remaining alive.

    IMO there is no difference in the "acts" committed by gangs (criminal or otherwise), just the motives. And the acts of the cartels in Mexico are on par with those of the Taliban IMO.
    Last edited by Drusilla lives!; 08-13-2010 at 08:48 AM.

  4. #64
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drusilla lives! View Post
    The only 500, well armed and trained "soldiers," that should be in NY in the first place is members of the NYPD... and the point I was making was that IMO it is intelligence and police methods that are best employed at keeping it that way.
    Police are trained to protect people and property, and only then to apprehend the offenders, to take them alive, and to be sure not to interfere with evidence, because every move they make will be gone over with a fine toothed comb. Soldiers are trained to kill and destroy. Police methods are a joke to those using military methods.
    Bart Lidofsky

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    Police are trained to protect people and property, and only then to apprehend the offenders, to take them alive, and to be sure not to interfere with evidence, because every move they make will be gone over with a fine toothed comb. Soldiers are trained to kill and destroy. Police methods are a joke to those using military methods.
    So if the methods are ineffective, why hobble our military with them?

    Besides, it seems to me that some of the most successful instances of thwarting jihadists terrorist plots in recent years have been through old fashioned intelligence gathering and detective work. No, the proper and more effective response IMO should have been through some form of coordinated effort of the international law enforcement agencies around the globe.

    Btw, I also think that this coordinated effort wouldn't necessarily have needed the additional powers that were granted to the various government agencies for intelligence gathering... after all, it was in fact a failure of the existing intelligence system of the day at utilizing and acting on what they had, that led to the successful execution of the 9/11 plot, not a failure of ability to gather such information.
    Last edited by Drusilla lives!; 08-13-2010 at 06:43 PM.

  6. #66
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    As it just so happens, there's an interesting article in the NY Times this weekend on the "Secret Assault" on terrorism... it can be found here.

  7. #67
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    I like Grant's take on Inception, it's a good theory. The only thing that really bothers me about it is how much time we spend with characters who are entirely separate from Cobb's viewpoint... are we to understand that Cobb is thinking about them in those moments, so we observe them even when they are separated from Cobb?

    Although it might work if we think that all the other members of the team are there to work on Cobb, that they are also real but they're playing roles. Caine is still the leader, they are his partners, and we see them because they're all more-or-less playing the roles they need to at that given time.

    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    In any case, at least the way the U.S. armed forces are currently set up, a draft if virtually useless. For most positions, a sufficiently high level of training is required that, by the time a draftee is ready to assume a position, their service time is almost complete. Add to that the large number of teaching personnel that will be required, and you will see that current calls for a draft are just political posturing.
    Well then, why not shift volunteer personnel currently in the service into those trained and training positions, and use draftees as weapons-carrying cannon fodder? After all, they don't need years of training for that, and why bother training them in the more complicated roles if they're going to rotate out in a year or two anyhow, and have no intention of remaining in the service?

    In WW2 and Vietnam we trained people to fight in a matter of weeks. I don't see why it would be much different now. We would just have a lot more E-ratings, and gosh... I bet they could find something for them to do.

    For instance, draftees can replace paid contractors in the kitchens, latrines, laundry and so forth. After all, we're hemorrhaging cash on those services, now that we contract them out. A draft that allows for civil service as well as military service would also serve to put people into "jobs" that can be used to build up our crumbling infrastructure.

    Doesn't sound all that implausible at all. Though it does sound like the sort of move that would look extremely aggressive to everyone else in the world. I don't see how we can call up the draft without freaking out China or Russia or Iran. Not to mention that it would be INCREDIBLY unpopular with the majority of US citizens (since it'd be us that would be drafted). It's the sort of move that might actually kick our lazy asses into serious protest against the current system of government, which is looking more and more incompetent and dangerous no matter which party is in charge.

    Those seem like better reasons to doubt a draft than the idea that it wouldn't be "useful". But I bet most of that could be countered by one more terrorist attack.
    Last edited by Inkthinker; 08-14-2010 at 11:10 PM.
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  8. #68
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drusilla lives! View Post
    So if the methods are ineffective, why hobble our military with them?
    It is clear that there are motives other than military victory.
    Besides, it seems to me that some of the most successful instances of thwarting jihadists terrorist plots in recent years have been through old fashioned intelligence gathering and detective work. No, the proper and more effective response IMO should have been through some form of coordinated effort of the international law enforcement agencies around the globe.
    And the courts have been working overtime attempting to limit our intelligence services to the same limitations that police officers acting in teh United States dealing with U.S. citizens have.
    Bart Lidofsky

  9. #69
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkthinker View Post
    Well then, why not shift volunteer personnel currently in the service into those trained and training positions, and use draftees as weapons-carrying cannon fodder? After all, they don't need years of training for that, and why bother training them in the more complicated roles if they're going to rotate out in a year or two anyhow, and have no intention of remaining in the service?
    Because the way the military is currently organized, there is relatively little need for "weapons carrying cannon fodder."
    For instance, draftees can replace paid contractors in the kitchens, latrines, laundry and so forth. After all, we're hemorrhaging cash on those services, now that we contract them out. A draft that allows for civil service as well as military service would also serve to put people into "jobs" that can be used to build up our crumbling infrastructure.
    The idea of using contractors is to save money; when you include Veteran's Benefits, they may actually do so (in the private sector, contractors get paid more per hour than regular employees, but the overhead is far less and the flexibility is far greater). One problem is using contractors in positions we train the soldiers for; we have been experiencing spending money to train the soldiers, have them leave as soon as their benefits have been vested, and then joining the contracting companies.
    Bart Lidofsky

  10. #70
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    ************** National Call-In Day (Tuesday, Nov 30th) ****************

    Don't cut Social Security!

    Make your voice heard, call toll free today...

    888 340-6518

    ************************************************** *************

    Btw, I don't recommend giving out any important info to these people regardless. State of residence seems reasonable, telephone number maybe... but nothing more.
    Last edited by Drusilla lives!; 11-30-2010 at 11:36 AM.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drusilla lives! View Post
    ... Don't cut Social Security! ...
    With this I should also add... don't starve Social Security. Although the healthcare reforms that were enacted leave much to be desired in my opinion (I'd even go as far as to say it turned out to be a load of rubbish), (IMO) Social Security works... it's one of the few government programs that ever did... and it is in no need of reform. Unfortunately I guess we can kiss that goodbye now as well.

  12. #72
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Back to Inception; it finally came to Redbox, so I finally read Grant's article.

    I've mentioned here (and other places) something which, for lack of a better term, I call the "bad writing clue." For those who don't remember (and it HAS been a while), it's based on the following concept: If you see bad writing from an otherwise good writer, there is a very good chance that it is a clue to a plot twist. And I saw a LOT of bad writing in this film; the (supposedly real) chase scene with Cobb showing skills more suited to a Jackie Chan movie, Saito coming up a convenient alleyway (a la Ebert's "Myth of the Convenient Tree", where, in an entire forest, a bad guy happens to stop right under the tree where the good guy is hiding so that the good guy can fall down and take him out), the mysterious corporation putting out all those resources to kill Cobb (acting like "projections"), the 2 dimensional portrayal of most of the characters, etc. Also, having several grandchildren, I notice that the son as portrayed in the end is way to young to have had the previous phone conversation with his father.
    Bart Lidofsky

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    I notice that the son as portrayed in the end is way to young to have had the previous phone conversation with his father.
    The phone conversation takes place in a dream world. It's not DiCaprio's character's real son, but a dream version of him to maintain an illusion of time passing. Michael Caine controls all the dream worlds.

    - Grant

  14. #74
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Grant View Post
    The phone conversation takes place in a dream world. It's not DiCaprio's character's real son, but a dream version of him to maintain an illusion of time passing. Michael Caine controls all the dream worlds.
    In case it wasn't clear, I was using the "older voice" as evidence in favor of your theory. A lot of other aspects of the movie appear to be either bad writing or evidence of your theory (and, using Occam's Razor, I'll go with your theory until I hear a better explanation, given the amount of time and care Nolan is said to have spent in writing this film). A couple of things that stick in my mind as being especially in favor of your theory (and very glad that I avoided reading it until AFTER I saw the movie):

    1) Cobb was supposed to be a researcher, a scholar. Where the hell did he get those physical skills? Why was he the boss of the group when he is mainly a technician?

    2) Mal's suicide; I (as well as many other students) followed the investigation of a death from a fall (or possible push) from a window at my college in the mid-70's. Even back then, the police were able to figure out exactly which window was involved, using only the physical evidence (there were no known witnesses until seconds after the body hit the ground, and they were on the street level). I find it almost impossible to believe that the police couldn't have easily determined that she fell from the opposite window, and Cobb could not have been the murderer.

    3) The industrial spying angle; it's kind of like using a sledgehammer to open hard-boiled eggs, especially considering that they have to get temporary physical control over the subject. The last movie that I saw where I got that feeling was RUNAWAY JURY, and I was right that the motive was bigger than it seemed.

    And, like I said, between a plot filled with major holes, and the plotholes being clues to your theory, I greatly prefer the latter.
    Bart Lidofsky

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    ... Criminal gangs are interested in profit, and remaining alive. Soldiers are interested in killing and destroying as much of the enemy as possible, and are willing to die for their cause. Which one is a better description of the radical jihadists?
    I'd venture to guess now that ObinL is out of the picture and the money dries up, so will the Al Q organization. That is, until someone else steps up with deep pockets and starts funding the groups activities.

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